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Content marketing works

Content marketing works. Almost three fifths (56 per cent) of the 177 B2B marketers surveyed for the Content Marketing Benchmarking Report have seen content marketing boost sales (most of the remainder simply don’t know the impact as measuring ROI is tough).

So maybe you already have a content strategy, but want to know what your peers are doing. Or perhaps you’re developing a content strategy and want some pointers. Either way, the survey results provide valuable guidance:

Focus on quality not quantity. Those at the coal-face of content marketing have found that the most successful campaigns have three common features: the target market finds the content relevant, interesting and useful. 

Balance substance with accessibility. B2B marketers also find four content formats most effective. Two of these – whitepapers and case studies – are similar in that they both provide explore a subject indepth. In contrast the other two – video and infographics – are ‘lighter’. This suggests that content needs to be tiered and packaged in a variety of ways.

Prioritise personal channels. On average B2B marketers use six channels to distribute content.  Most commonly this includes email (94 per cent), their website (87 per cent), social media (83 per cent), events (71 per cent), their blog (62 per cent) and one-on-one meetings (49 per cent).  However, two of these channels are most effective: one-on-one meetings (55 per cent say this is very effective) and events (40 per cent).

Make time.  Producing and promoting high-quality, valuable content takes time. The average B2B organisation spends more than one third (37 per cent) of its marketing time on content.

Don’t forget the leads.  When asked which objectives content marketing best supports, B2B marketers say ‘brand positioning’ (84 per cent) and ‘demand generation’ (70 per cent). Realising the latter benefit isn’t straightforward though. Half of B2B marketers have found a way to translate content consumption into leads (50 per cent regularly capture leads), but the other half hasn’t.

Download the full report here: B2B Marketing Content Marketing Benchmarking Report 2013. Plus, download the #b2bcontent infographic providing further detail on the report.